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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 3, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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amb. samad: having spent almost a year and a half in that unity government, i am unfortunately not at liberty to say much. but to give you some perspective, i can say that i think this was meant to be -- i do not want to go into the why it has value -- everyone has their own theories in how this came about. we leave that to history to judge. but once it came about, it was meant to follow a certain recipe and a certain set of guidelines, and it has not. for those of us who have been inside the system, we know, by now, why and what are the motivations. some of it is very distressing. some of it has to do with petty politics and power struggles,
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and some of it have to do with real and substantive issues that have created a sense of a dis-united government and not a unity government. it was supposed to be a political marriage, of sorts -- in the modern sense. one side is playing a very traditional role in this marriage. traditional in the afghan-eastern context. trying to dominate, trying to push, trying to impose. the other side again in the eastern sense -- accommodate, the flexible, to that extent possible, given its own political limitations. you have to realize that this is not just a marriage between parties or factions or
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individuals that fought in the elections. they are made up of a conglomerate, each one. so this is very difficult to handle. we did try to bring everyone under the tent, with very few upset -- with very few exceptions. issue.but now -- once we had it, this is going to be a sort -- it was the only alternative. the tragic part is there was no other alternative but to create such a unity government, with the two top vote getters. the individuals who legitimately had received the largest amount of vote in the country. whether one was more or less than the other is another issue. but now -- once we had it, and once it was ratified, and the afghan people accepted it, the international community put a stamp of approval on it, i think it was the mistake of letting
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this government sort of find its own way, thinking that they know best. that they know all of the problems and have all of the solutions. especially the president has always given this impression that he knows all of the problems and has all of the solutions. that he knows the answers to all of the questions. this came back to bite them, especially the president. people had this image that had been promoted, this image that had been created over the years that -- someone mentioned
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something interesting. they asked me if he is really a modernist? or is he still tribal? post-triabl or still tribal? it is an interesting question, for an afghan. i think it is a mix of both. when he is sincere, he is modern and post-tribal. when he goes back, he is tribal but to tribal. even the majority of afghans cannot connect with him. we could not find the balance that was needed. the equilibrium needed in order to make this a more functioning i agree that not everything about the national unity government is that. there was no other option at the time. even today, i am of the view that we should not be looking for a revolutionary alternative. something that would further destabilize afghanistan and put us in a very vocal situation, politically speaking. there is still time to try everything possible, try all
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means possible, to impress on the leadership of this is him and government -- and i him and think john kerry tried to do this a couple days ago -- and impress on the afghan political elite and the afghan people that we need to stay the course, but we need to correct the course. we need to learn some hard lessons from the past year and a half, both in terms of governance, in terms of relations with the international community, in terms of how we connect with the afghan people and play politics. one of the biggest problems is that we have amateur politicians. we do not have professional politicians, who know how to even play politics, in afghanistan. the best example we had was hamid karzai. because he would walk into a tell you everything you want to hear, but he would not agree
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with it. and someone owes would come in he would say the total opposite. this is a good politician, we think -- it is not. hamid karzai was a failure. but we need to learn the lessons from the past 15 years, especially the last year and a half. mr. smith: there is a much more significant and organize opposition to the national unity government then to the government of hamid karzai, which was a government of singular powers run by one person. the other thing is what is our responsibility for this government? omar is correct that after a bruising election, a transition that was not well handled and an economy that was tanking, we set
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the government up with its internal frictions and said you guys take care of this. when the iraq war was being debated in 2003, i think it was colin powell who said if we go in and break it, you own it. with governments, it is different. if you fix it, you own it. i i think that is what we hear with kerry's repeated visits to try to get these guys to work together. to the specific question of what can be done, and a lot of us have been advocating for a long time that the two leaders of this government, if they are not able to work together, at least
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project that they are working together. but for a variety of reasons, this has not happened. and as i said, i do not think it is likely to happen. i think there are some things regarding strategic indications that have been achieved. people like us in washington are pointing this out, not the government itself. that is leading the afghan people know what we have done, what we are attempting to do, and how you can see we are getting there. a lot of the frustration with this government is the sense that it does not understand the sense of crisis that afghans themselves feel. that is what helps power, this opposition made in large hard by politicians that are not so good. they just happen to be in the position.
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mr. kugelman: picking up on the good point scott makes on the government not acknowledging the crisis it makes, i will take the question as to what the president can do to strengthen his position. in some ways, there are not that many options. there are two issues. one is how the president can strengthen his position mo -- more broadly in the eyes of afghans, the international community, and so forth. and secondly, how he can strengthen his position in his own government. in the broader context, there needs to be effort to articulate a clear plan of action for the coming months. articulate, for example, how it intends to answer these questions about time frames for local elections, etc. he needs to try to reduce these high levels of uncertainty, which breeds concern and elevates volatility. in the more narrow context, that is more difficult. perhaps one suggestion is for him to make -- offer a clear
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assurance to abdulla abdulla that the position is intact. that his position is still in tact. it is something to be said for clearing the air. it may be asking too much, but it is a start. prof. jalali: many years ago -- 2004, i believe -- we faced a difficult situation. a respected international figure said something we thought was against afghan culture. we argued that it would go
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against the constitution. now we face against something else. what we have today has its own problem in the inception. to have -- in the history of afghanistan, in many cases, there was a tendency to solve difficult problems by tactical solutions. i was one of many others who said that counts this votes 100 times, and eventually announces one winner. the winner that will be accepted by -- today in afghanistan, coalitions are fine.
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the coalitions are successful only if they can balance two things. maintain unity and govern effectively. if you maintain unity at the expense, at the cost, of effectiveness, you fail. if you want to be effective but it undermines unity, again. what we have today are two leaders. one is the president. the other is second among equals. the president gets the power from the constitution and appoints or delivers some of the qualities to this second of equals.
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the second of equals does not have a strong standing. he uses political clout. it turns into opposition within the government. that is the major problem from day one. i think it was both of the leaders did a lot of sacrifices, made a lot of effort for this unity government. however, they are not alone. they have people around them that helps to bring them to the elections. the election vote was not based on to make a difference. it was based to win the elections. so both sides actually are dependent on borrowed constituencies. these borrowed constituencies have the demands, which slows down everything. all decisions in afghanistan,
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in a country facing security, economic political problems. , in that case, you have that kind of government. it will not fail. but the more however, it does not mean it will not work. afghanistan has many situations that actually enables afghans to survive. it shows the resilience of the afghans. it can manage issues. i am not saying the government will fail. it will not fail. but the more they put effort to make it one government and to get all of the access they have into one government, -- in other words, instead of making a salad
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bowl, make a melting pot of all elements. today, it is a salad bowl. which ministers belong to this guy and which belong to that guy. which ministries reporting to that guy in which reports to that guy? it is not one government unless you make it one government. and make it a melting pot. it is hard, but that is the way to make that government effective and successful. amb. samad: just to add a bit more, if we are going to take the route of the constitution itself and what is constitutional and what is not, what constitutes widget is the legitimacy and so on and so forth, we have to be careful. we can open a can of worms that we have seen the past two years,
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especially 2014. especially in how the election was handled. especially in how much fraud was orchestrated. that is also constitutional or anti-constitutional. if we want to talk political opposition within the government, knowing there is a glut of political opposition outside the government, we have to look at exactly what happens on a daily basis. i told you earlier i cannot get into that. but i will tell you, there are individuals who does political opposition within the government. but the motivation and aspiration and wish of the leadership is not -- and i am talking on the abdullah camp side has been to work with the
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president within the confines of the political agreement signed in december of 2014. it is a political agreement that is being trampled on a daily basis and is being ignored, that they all signed on to. less than of the 100 high officials, from deputy ministers to ambassadors to the mayor of kabul, to the head of the institutional reform commission, and so on and so forth -- high-level positions that are awaiting final approval by the president for the past 16 months, or 14 months, or 12 months.
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because someone, somewhere, does not want to see these individuals. and the president is asked to interview every single person, in person. from the position of deputy governors to district police chiefs even further down. he wants to interview every person, in person. when you have this kind of governance style and you have hundreds of people waiting to be appointed the last year or more, obviously, you will face a crisis and there wasto blame one side or the other. one side has done its job, the other side has to do its job as well. we can go on and on about what goes on on a daily basis within that government, and who was accommodating, who is not. who was playing petty politics, and who is taking a larger look at what is good or bad for
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afghanistan. every afghan's hope is that we would be driven by national interest, not clan or fractional or personal interest, as was the case under mr. karzai for so long. the hope is that we will broaden our minds in the scope of what we do and how we do it. marvin: in 2016, there would be two policies. one, election for a new parliament. and the holding of a loya jirga -- grand council -- which could do a number of things, but was expected, then, to take up the issue about whether there would be a prime minister position created, as was agreed to when the government was formed.
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as you know, dr. abdullah is designated as chief executive. what are the possibilities of these processes going ahead? what are some of the obstacles and what are some of the consequences, should they not be completed in this year? mr. kugelman: there is a quick answer and a longer answer. sorry. here is the quick answer. the idea of holding local elections within the next few months what appear to be nothing short of a miracle, for a variety of reasons. when there were presidential elections, there was much more time to prepare for them. the taliban was not as strong as it is now.
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and yet, at this point, you are being asked to do something in a mere few months. the loya jirga issue -- i will refrain from getting into the legalese, but the crux of the matter is that the founding political agreement that form the national unity government especially says you need a loya jirga to happen in two years. but it does not spell out the consequences of not holding one in two years. and is silent on the issue of how long the national unity government is to last for. the agreement did not save the national unity government is null and void if there's no loya jirga. the issue of if the election or loya jirga does not occur, it comes down to one of two possibilities. you can look at this from a
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business perspective and contend when two parties enter a contract and do not achieve what the contract is set to achieve, the whole thing could become null and void. the other is an argument of omission. that this political agreement does not explicitly say that the government must fold if there is not a loya jirga in two years. in terms to what interpretation is proper, i am not in a position to say. marvin: that was the short version. mr. kugelman: yes. [laughter] prof. jalali: i think there are two issues. one is the inequality of who wrote the constitution, and how
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the game changes. the other one -- the election of afghanistan is for five years. this government was elected for five years. there is no constitutional problem that this government continues for five years. the helm of this government got the votes from the people. however, in order to respond to the problems that occurred, the fraud in the election and votes, in order to bring together these two people, who got the majority of votes, into a government, some kind of arrangement was made. if a loya jirga could not be held in september or next year, or if the parliamentary election does not do well, that will be a problem.
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for the leadership to deal with. but the problems in the unity government is an effective this. the legitimacy of the government did not originate from the ballot box. it emanated from a deal that its legitimacy depends on its effectiveness. if it does not act effectively, then they have a problem. not that a loya jirga will be convened in september or not -- that is not the problem. it does not undermine the term of this government of five years. the constitution gives that.
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but loya jirga, elections, all of these things, if it helps the government function effectively, if that does not happen, then this is a problem. mr. smith: since i started working in the first afghans election in 2003, i have always been bothered by the unrealistic timetables we have always set for ourselves. we got away with in 2004 and 2005. but when i saw the september agreement -- and one day i hope history books will look at this -- i was appalled. whoever negotiated this put in place a series of processes that could not possibly be held within the timelines it was supposed to hold them, which means it was doomed to begin with. i do not think anybody thought
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we would be having district, council elections this year and district-council boundaries have not been able to be drawn for 15 years. why we would get electronic ids issued to every afghan citizen when it has not been able to be done in the last decade. so what do we do? i agree there is a legal and political case that this government last five years. but why do we not take the three and a half years that remain and set up an agenda that allows it to do reform that is not compressed, allows you to plan an election that can be feasible, and look at it as a chunk of three and half years instead of the next six months, the next six months, where we fail to achieve anything and find ourselves in may of 2019 with no preparations done, because we did not take a longer view point. that is what i would do. and provide the assurances, that are legal -- a degree that says the powers of the chief executive are not transferable.
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let's get the country back on a more rational path towards election and return to constitutionality. amb. samad: obviously, we got sidetracked and railed by a lot of different events. and we did not stick to a timeline. there has been a concerted effort to play a delay tactic to prevent the election reform commission to be formed, first of all. for them to do their work properly. i was part of this on a daily basis, dealing with these issues. these issues could have been dealt with within the time
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frames that were allotted to them. if there was political will. this goes back to political will. not whether three months was enough or not or six months were enough or not. it also poses this critical question of how much do we want to rock the political boat in afghanistan and when do we want to rock it? look at what happened. first, the president's first item was an overture to pakistan. it was not to put the political structure back in place. it is to go to islamabad. it was announced by march 2015, we would have peace talks.
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instead of peace talks, we had bomber after bomber after bomber hitting afghanistan in all places. we had all those foreign fighters, who had been pushed inside afghanistan, throughout 2013 through 2015. had set up shop and were ready. there was a strategy to take over as much territory as they could in 2015. it was the afghan security forces and our international allies who put a stop to it. we lost a few places here or there, but the strategy was to gain a foothold and take over a few provinces. that has not happened. so this distraction took place in 2015. and it was not in our political will to implement the accord. even today.
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yesterday, i got a note from kabul, saying the next step is the selection committee, which is supposed to look at who is supposed to be and under what conditions and what criteria are supposed to be used and one of the legal framework for the next election commission. independent election commission. very important. we saw with the former one did. there is no political will to move forward, one side or the other. it is easy to blame time when you know that the game is different. mr. smith: game or not, from a technical perspective, i think it is not political will. if we keep thinking that this could happen in a few months, we will keep making the same
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delays. amb. samad: we had five years between 2009 and 2014 to fix the elections. some of you who worked on it are here. what kind of election would you prepare for afghanistan? where did all of this money that the u.s. spent on electioneering and how to make this election look -- where did it go and what did it produce? that is how the afghans see it. it is easy to say we can blame time, but the afghans saw what happened. in the five years you how to fix the elections after the 2009 travesty. it was not fixed. marvin: let's switch gears slightly. by looking at the fact that, as is pointed out, we do not have a peace process in the works. it now seems as if it is post peace process.
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we are looking at some of the consequences of that. one of those seems to be that the bright days of cooperation between pakistan and afghanistan have -- seem far behind now. the president delivered an address to the parliament recently, though he did not entirely close the door, indicated if he had not closed it with the taliban, he probably had closed it with pakistan. relations with pakistan have certainly deteriorated. i want to ask the panel what are some of the implications of what could amount to a real breach in relations with pakistan? and in addressing that, is there anything the united states or the international community can do to alleviate what might be a serious development?
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and for that matter, going back to the earlier discussions, is the role for the united states and the international community generally, stepping in on the political side as well, having done so so many times, do we have any cards left to play? prof. jalali: first of all, let's note that peace talks are the means, not the goal. if it can help bring peace and stability in afghanistan, fine. but it is not the goal. afghanistan faces security threats and instability. there are two ways to respond. one is to do things, to use means to reduce the level of threat to security. the other means is to better their capacity to respond to the threat. they go hand in hand. i think it will be very good to have peace talks and then reduce the level of threat. however, there are many
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complications to it. on the other hand, the longer the afghan state has survived, -- the taliban will have to have their way. whether the priority is to support the afghan state or to beg others to help us to bring some kind of political settlement, acceptable or not to the majority of the people. this is the problem. i think ashraf ghani went to pakistan first thing because without relations with pakistan, it would be difficult to bring taliban to the negotiating table. when he went to pakistan, he had three demands from them. first, end this undeclared war between afghanistan and pakistan that has been going on 15 years. or some indication should be
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presented that this undeclared war is over. once of this is done, then afghanistan can establish normal relations with pakistan. over time, maybe we will have a special relationship -- political, economic, security. that did not happen. he had given pakistan until march of that year -- did not happen. two months later, pakistan brought another package. which was not acceptable. as long as this difference of approaches is there between afghanistan and pakistan, it will be difficult to ask pakistan to help bring taliban to the negotiating table.
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so what is the other option? the other option is the capacity of the government and the armed services to respond to the threats over time to convince the taliban that they are losing, and they will come to the negotiating table. the last two opportunities to have peace and field conditions. one was in 2001, when the taliban were excluded. the two sides in the civil war. either one side feeds the other, or they make a peaceful agreement. neither happened.
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on one side, it was removed from power but not defeated. the other opportunity was 2003. when the taliban approach the government, different elements in the government, that they wanted -- neither the international community nor the afghans were ready to do that.
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the longer -- the less chance they have to comeback. the priority is to build the capacity in the government with the international community so that this will force the taliban to come to the table. marvin: we do want to leave time, so i will asked the panelists a question. the question is a broad one. michael? michael: when it comes to the peace process, it comes down to the taliban. the taliban will sit down to talk when it has an incentive and it does not have one right now. if it were to be beaten back significantly on the battle field and if it was held it were on the fence, they would have reason to come to the point right now.
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the quadrilateral peace process is for all intents and purposes dead. but the idea of a peace process not dead altogether. it is certainly off the table for the foreseeable future. the issue of what role the united states could play is useful and i do not think that has been brought up yet. i am more optimistic about washington's's ability to address reconciliation within afghanistan and in between afghanistan and pakistan. i always thought the idea was somewhat of a myth. with afghanistan, it is a bit of a different story. economic assistance, in a context where the u.s. support, it is significant. as we discussed the u.s. government, help me to get afghanistan out of the election crisis a few years back, i mentioned as things get tricky down the road over the next few
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months, we can assume john kerry in his last few months in power will make this a fairly frequent destination. president obama i imagine that this way is in a legacy stage and i imagine he will not want to be remembered for failing to keep the government from falling apart, he will not want to leave office knowing the afghan government he helped put together ended up falling into pieces. i do not want to overstate the desirability of the u.s. to be getting involved in this type of thing. i think they're certainly can and should be a role for the u.s. and the broader international community to play. >> i think we have had a lot of lessons learned on the way on
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the taliban and pakistan's role on the geopolitics of the region, on the history behind this. the taliban are no 23 years old. i think this antiquated war, in my opinion, did not start in 2001, but 1992. and it was not really, it was part civil war, a civil war because it was not like, ethnicities were all against each other and hiding each other, afghanistan unfortunately has never experienced such a disaster. i think there is a strong unity core within the afghan identity.
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from the beginning, it was obvious there are geostrategic and geopolitical objectives that have to be met. once the soviets left and the communist government fell, the biggest and most powerful player left their uzbekistan, who had handled and managed for a decade of war, billions of dollars that have come through pakistan to fight the soviets. it had gained so much leverage. this is as the sand and the moon in the sky. what you are seeing is the continuation of the policy in different shades. the shades changed after 2001 and took on a different image or exterior. maybe the 2014 to some extent. i do not think anyone in afghanistan thinks the core strategy behind pakistan's use of proxies to control at least
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our foreign policy is in any doubt. still in washington, i am aghast. i would be disappointed to think that people in london still think pakistan has some other motivation. let's call a spade a spade and
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let's deal with it in that context, not under solutions that do not make sense. i'm not against -- as a diplomat, i am for talks and dialogue. but we have to be ready for that. we have to be ready to speak as a stakeholder and a party to any talks and negotiations. you have to have a strategy. where was the strategy? i know there was one, but it did not have the african backing. this is why it has not resulted in anything. what we need to do is regroup, and politically speaking, we need to reunite afghans around that idea, something workable
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and practical, in terms of relationships or issues with pakistan. in terms of defenses, we need to bolster our defenses and this is where the united visit others have had amazing role to play to makes sure our forces are protected by whatever is needed, whether air or land or intelligence, and that it is not just, you know, easy talk. it has to be demonstrated in this is why i think the next administration, has to look at it from a perspective of, what have we learned what to do and what not to do. how do we bring durable and real peace to afghanistan that has the backing and support of the afghan people. just, you know, easy talk. if there are afghan taliban, which happens on almost a daily
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basis, let's not fall for the ethnic linkages and so on and so forth. those things have passed the test of time and have not amounted to anything. i remember at one point, they used a symbol, as their spiritual leader, to make advances in afghanistan in the 1990's.
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he had some recognition and was somewhat popular and people had a good memory. they said if they ever get a hold of him, they will hang him. they did the same thing in they are doing the same thing. in the name of the brotherhood or whatever people think they are doing or not doing. going forward, we need to have learned the lessons, in my opinion. >> for a moment there i thought you were going to suggest building a wall. >> in a sense, we do not have a shared vision of part of the conflict and you can be a mediator. out, it is mostly
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between afghan. another said it is mostly between them and pakistan. others said it is between them and us because they want us out of there. pakistan said the conflict is with india and afghanistan is a strategic point and that is where the weight of the resolution has to live. so that is a very revamped pointing out one of the real challenges and why we have not been able to get this out of the ground. without getting into the details of the differences in the tele-band. talk about incentives, right now the biggest disagreement as whether to negotiate or not said to push them to negotiate is to push them towards fracture and that is not going to happen. belet me ask you to recognized for questions, please keep questions short. introduce yourself briefly.
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i will take down front and we will move it around. >> thank you. i am john dempsey with the state the specialffice of representative for afghanistan and pakistan and what i am about to say is not necessarily the view of the state department. i'm speaking in my own personal capacity. to look back at negotiations in 2014, and i know scott mentioned he was appalled at terms included in the political agreement. there were certainly things included that were, at the time, but it isot capable important to remember the top priority at the time was to have a democratic transition to a successor from the president. what happened following the runoff election that summer did not give much confidence that they were going to be able to
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achieve that transition successfully anytime quickly. as time moved forward without bothution there were fears here in and in other places that there would be manipulation of the political chaos to president karzai's advantage to remain in power. interim government where his interest would be of paramount concerned so we were able to get there successfully. the other point i would make is on the difference between a political and legal and constitutional westerns. not -- there is was a five term. in afghanistan, the reality is people are getting bogged down in what is legal versus what is practical and i think the latter
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is much more important. >> we will take that as a comment rather than a question. >> i knew i would face flak for that comment and i appreciate the comments. but i think it is irresponsible not to raise the point. the idea of trying to re-create a political order based on the role of law that you know will be violated because it is counterproductive. >> the gentleman here. please, short. other people in the audience who i want to get to. it goes a long ways. >> identifymistake yourself. i am president of the national coalition of tribes and
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msm. with every single tribe and afghanistan. the unfortunate thing is that the west, with one it came, they tried to build up afghanistan to the nation image of the west. afghanistan is a nation of tribes. the tribes have protected and preserved integrity and independence for centuries. unfortunately when the soviet union invaded, they broke the structure and when the west came in, they totally disregarded afghanistan's tribal structure, which is the nation. they started building a roof on imaginary walls. you cannot build a house on imaginary walls. the walls of afghanistan, both of these have been totally disregarded. so long as we continue to disregarding it, we are not going to have any piece. peace.
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peace with the taliban, which one are you talking about? saudis? which are we talking about? show me elite are that could control all the taliban and -- there is no such thing. this is a pipe dream. biting the on ice and leaving it in the sun, for god's sake. why don't we sit down and face reality and the fact of what is going on in afghanistan? the people of afghanistan are saying, where is the west, why are we allowed to go to the -- aren't we allowed to go to the united nations and file a larger complaint with the united nations national security? thank you for that arguable comment. >> thank you. >> yes. so, with his hand up. yes? i am with the afghan american chamber of commerce and we have been focusing on the political here but you still have the
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business which has to successfully function during this chaos. the business side is willing to do that if some basic aspects of security can be figured out. currently, with the rules of private security, if the business is in turmoil and waiting for turmoil, is there any chance that could be sorted out and politics, later? >> with anybody like to answer? would you like to take this? -- in a week or so my report will be published. it is focused on afghan national defense and security forces. capability and future. security does not happen in a vacuum. and, the national security forces are just one element in
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providing security and the country. political, economic, regional, dimensions toic it. it was a year and a half, and they proved they can hold their own. although with a high casualty rate. thatt means that if security forces are used and the capability capability gates are backed by international support, forces and will be able to guarantee our survival. that is the key. the more stability comes the country, i think you will then have more opportunities and encouragement for people to invest in afghanistan also
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people not to take their money out. so, it all depends on the stability of afghanistan and the major elements as to the political effectiveness of the government. and defense and security. >> i would add an important plank in all of this is to effectively fight corruption as well and invite an environment where people feel somewhat not only secure from attacks but also from civil servants and those who, contractors, whoever they may be, can be involved in this business practices. one of the things this government could have done better and has done to some extent but not as much as they could have, is to fight corruption more effectively.
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marvin: i am looking for a woman. right here. >> i have two questions for the panel. i am from women for afghan women. my first question is about the peace talks coming from afghanistan. he is willing to join me government of afghanistan, but only if his requests are result. name to bes dismissed from the blacklist of the united nations. my second question is about the government, not the sum of constitution of afghanistan, is it for future elections or just specifically for the residential period. thank you. >> quickly on the talks, i was
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in kabul last weekend asking people what this was about in the response i got was, one, it was a question of growing old and feeling that he wanted to restore his committee. two, it probably would not have that much influence because they are not the main perpetrators. some people wanted to believe if a deal could be struck and the government, he would be a positive demonstration to the patent -- to the taliban that yes, you can make a deal. they said it would be announced in a week or so. i do think they may put some stress on the government and depending what the conditions are, it's sort of does seem to
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certain people as quite a good reward for having fought a long time against the government or let's see were the details are in the deal. classic if you look at the history of afghanistan, it comes incrementally, not in one package. maybe we would be very optimistic to assume that one day, whole of these would sit down at a table and sign. some in afghanistan. however, what conditions, we should of they the decision of afghanistan and when he integrates his people, it should be on the basis of the established rules afghanistan, not some kind of political damage. in afghanistan, all fade as long as the government has some kind of support from the outside.
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twice, national governments failed when there was no outside support. one was the 1920's. once in 1990's, united states disengaging from afghanistan. otherwise, governments were always able to defeat rebellions. this has some support from pakistan.
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the principles show that rebellions can be defeated by the government as long as it is not alone by its international partners. >> and all of afghan history. >> there is one back there anxious to speak. we do need a pakistani. >> thank you very much. very helpful. this is something that is ideal and we need to become more pragmatic. mr. scott mentioned pakistan is not willing to bring towels and to the negotiating table, paxton does have some influence but
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they have no control over them. pakistan's own plate is full and paxton fully understands stability in afghanistan are interdependent. i do not find any incentive to see pakistan she stabilized here is -- somebody looks asked, how are you doing any text, so far, so good. it does not change the reality. my question is, are the taliban building ground, losing ground, are they marginalized, and can there be any kind of comment which is broadly based in terms of rule of law without incorporating the taliban in the system, negotiating power with them? thank you very much. >> about the taliban --
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>> can i? i think if you look at the record, for the past 15 years afghan leaders have made every attempt to ask the taliban to come and join everybody else. i do not recall a time when this has not been done. yes, we missed some chances. i agree there were opportunities that were missed at the beginning when it probably would have been the best time to do so.
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but later on there was a realization that we need to come to terms with this particular group that continues to fight. sanctuaries, to it has access to funding and all types of software and hardware outside of afghanistan. obviously, recruitment. outside of afghanistan. i think at this moment, the taliban are probably portraying an image of strength. i think inherently, they are probably at one of the weakest points ever. that is my assessment. and i believe not only are they politically somewhat in disarray, the leadership is not united anymore.
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but i think over the past few weeks, they had been facing some major assaults and major losses on the battlefield. it is not just what you and the press think about the afghan taliban. it involves many other elements who are in one way or another linked to the taliban and have been for 22 years. sometimes, the linkages seem weak and sometimes, very strong, depending on the politics of the day. the problem is we need to fight all the different elements now under the name of the islamic
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state, daesh, other names, and people coming from all over. most of them are people who had retreated back into the region of afghanistan after the taliban were overthrown. whether they are the al qaeda type or whether they are other arabs or other middle eastern, or whatever connection they had, and they had centuries in the tribal regions going back to the 1980's and 1990's. most of them find themselves back in afghanistan for some reason. this is the situation as i see it. i think as long as the afghan forces are able to not only contain the taliban but also put
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pressure on them to make you lose some momentum, we would be closer to a peace deal. the more you put pressure on them, the closer we will get to a peace deal. marvin: ok. we have to be concerned with the two sides being weak, which one fades first. this will have to be our last question. i will take a woman back here again. i always get criticized for this. >> i am glad i wore pink today instead of black or maybe i should past mike to the person next to me. my name is liz wilson. i work here in dupont circle and we're working on a higher education project in afghanistan now. with the departure of a lot of young, qualified, afghans, i wonder of what are some ways the
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government might have some strategies to keep young people in the country during this time of transition. our organization has been working for nearly a decade in higher education in afghanistan. they spent a lot of investment china to keep young people there. for staff who i work with on up, it seems there is a big struggle. perspectives on the youth and education in afghanistan? >> you cannot build walls in afghanistan. they should have incentives. in the next four years, 4 million more afghans will hit the job market, unless you provide incentives for jobs and also a future, i think it will be difficult to prevent that as you educate people. in the last 14 years, thousands of afghans were educated inside the country and outside.
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the approaches to use these capacities, yes, i think unemployment, declining economic situation, security, and ineffectiveness of the government, these are issues that probably provide incentives for people to leave the country. otherwise, many people would happy to have a job. provide his opportunities, you cannot prevent the exodus afghans educated like many other countries. marvin: i will apologize to the panel because i do not know about you but i have a feeling
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we are just getting started. there is so much we have -- they have to share with us and we are just skimming the surface here. i want you to join me in thanking this superb panel. thank you for coming. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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>> c-span's "washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. willay morning, tony cook join us to discuss the republican and democratic library taking place tomorrow in indiana. are up for grabs for the republicans and 92 democrats. then josh crockett our will preview tomorrow's primary contest and the road ahead for campaign 2016. nj car widths will join us from new york to discuss the mission of the mike news site which provides information and news content for millennials. be sure to watch the washed journal -- washington federal join the discussion. former morning, a national security and counterterrorism, george washington university host the event with experts in counterintelligence cyber security and the coronation of effort. that's live at 9:00 a.m. et on
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c-span2. look at clinical development in north korea will join panelists at the wilson center starting it 3:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. on humaniscussion rights violations. korean, japanese and u.s. state department official spoke at an event hosted by the center for strategic and international studies. other speakers included a north korean refugee and human rights activist and a family number of a woman abducted from japan to north korea. as is one hour 40 minutes. -- this is one hour 40 minutes.
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>> good afternoon everyone, my name is victor cha. in the professor at georgetown university and we want to welcome you all here this afternoon for a very special event. if before i begin, i do need to care aat at csi s we great deal about the security of our guests so, we have a security plan for the building it in the event of any emergency your full cooperation will be appreciated. we have designated security offices for every event, for this event it is dr. green. if there's ever an issue please call the -- follow the instructions of dr. green and his staff. korea for theorth longest time was really a single issue that was the issue of the
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security threat and particular the security threat as related to nuclear weapons. then, in good part thanks to the work of the u.n. commission of inquiry, and the commission members, about two years ago, a report was issued that created a groundswell of interest in the issue of human rights abuses in the dpr k. this movement israel. >> while the human rights issues were important to all three countries, in many ways it was not connected, it was a desperate issue. united states had their concerns, south korea had its
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own agenda with regard to human rights in japan had its own agenda with regard to the issue of human rights. what we're seeing today at the event that we are hosting is really the unity among the three countries. not just as allies, not just in terms of the security issues related but also with regard to the human rights issues. we have with us today, the three ambassadors from the three countries with regard to this issue and what we think is a very unique opportunity for the sharing of views and perspectives and away forward on this issue. to start us off this afternoon, i will introduce the -- dr. michael green. he is the senior vice president for asia, the japan chair at csi s and the associate professor and chair and contemporary and
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modern japanese politics and foreign policy. he will be moderating the event today as well as introducing the three distinguished speakers for the first panel. i will turn it over to him. >> thank you, victor and thank you everyone for coming. this is an important meeting in many respects. as victor noted, international attention to human rights in north korea has really intensified and spread. the idea once common in capitals that somehow the human rights issue was an obstacle to diplomacy or that human rights were somehow in contrast to strategic interests has largely
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dissipated. there is broad consensus emerging that progress on the korean peninsula will have to involve efforts on human rights as well as the strategic issues that we face. on their own track and barrett, but not at the cost of one another. it's also a significant meaning because this is the first time that the ministers and ambassadors responsible for human rights in north korea have appeared together from the united states from republic of korea and japan. and agreed to do so under the heading that we gave this session, standing together for human rights in north korea. i hope it's the beginning of many more trilateral sessions like this. and much closer japan and r.o.k. cooperation and coordination. on this issue is fellow democracies and humanitarian and human the -- human rights focused states and allies.
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we will hear from the three government speakers first. the minister,rom whom i will introduce shortly and then island by ambassador lee and bob king to the podium. after which we will have some discussion here and open it to questions. and then we will invite grace cho and another, who each in their own ways put a human face on what the human rights tragedy in north korea means for individuals and their families and open it up again for further discussion. let me introduce our first speaker. i have known him for decades, i think. he graduated from the university of tokyo and then he ran for the liberal democratic party. he has had critical positions.
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his previous position, deputy chief cap that secretary, sort of equivalent to deputy chief of -- deputy chief of staff to the white house. this year he took over his current position of the minister in charge of the abduction issues. he has other issues in his portfolio including women's empowerment, gender and so forth. but is very focused in particular on the mission he is here in washington to advance which is human rights in north korea. to open up, please welcome to the stage the minister. [applause] >> ambassador lee, ambassador king, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
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minister in charge of the abduction issues. it's a great pleasure for me to cohost uscis. one of the most renowned think tanks in the united states. let me extend my heartfelt appreciation to dr. green who offer.accepted my the cabinet minister in charge made a topn issues priority of the a administration. it's also my privilege to have the opportunity to explain how i view the current station running human rights issues in north korea. including the abduction issues and how the government of japan addresses the common international concerns.
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today i am particularly eager to engage in discussion with my distinguished colleagues and close friends of the united states. korea and other members of the distinguished audience regarding those common concerns. in japan, we are now enjoying so-called golden week, a week of long holidays. this is literally a golden opportunity for me to have an in-depth discussion with esteemed participants, including -- dr. graham. ago, thery, two years report of the commission inquiry aunt human rights in the democratic people's republic of korea was released. regarding human rights
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it isions in north korea, a state with a state where the ofvity, scale, and nature these violations reveal a state that does not have any part in the contemporary world. the abduction of japanese context by north korea a wealth of human rights violations committed by north korea. thehe report, the issue of abduction of the japanese is described with other similar cases of abductions and forced disappearance of the republic of korea and other countries. theis categorized into abductions and disappearances from other countries, the report also concluded in many instances the violation of human rights
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found by the commission that constitute crimes against humanity. the japanese government has identified 17 abductees, including five who have returned home. cases, 886 torous be precise. under investigation and inquiries by the authorities. the possibility of abduction by north korea cannot be ruled out. the abduction of a japanese student by north korea is a master of great concern. it undermines the national sovereignty of japan in the lives and safety of the japanese people. is ae same time the issue great matter in terms of human of the abductee precise
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and having valuable time from their families having been taken away. abductees and their families have grown old and the 40 years since they were captured by north korea. were unable to see the abductees again and passed away in seoul. there is no time to waste and rescuing the abductees with the understanding of the issues is the other cabinet considered -- the government should take responsibility for resolving it, when that it has given the highest priority has itn taking steps to resolve
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>> the abduction of japanese by north korea were conducted in the 1970's and 1980's. however, north korea formally admitted to the abduction for the first time during their visit of the then prime minister to north korea in september of 2002 at the first case summit meeting. the chairman of the national defense commission of north korea informed japan that the only full abductees were surviving. eight have died. there were no records of entry into north korea.
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at that time the two leader declaration which describes the manner of the relationship between japan and north korea. the declaration states that both leaders confirmed the shared establishmentst confirmed the relationship between japan and the dprk. to the settlement of the them,unate issues between they will be consistent with the fundamental interest and will greatly contribute to the pace and stability of the region -- peace and stability of the region. they would cooperate with each peacein order to maintain
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in the stability. they would comply with all related international agreements and both sides also confirm the necessity deserving security programs including nuclear issues by promoting a dialogue among the countries concerned. according to the john yang decoration which inclusive basic ideas for achieving the peace northability issues, korea will bear understanding on their issues such as they adoption and missile issues. japan will provide economic
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cooperation with north korea after that normalization of diplomatic relations. however, a huge gap between the ideas described in the pyongyang agreement and the disparities of the circumstances. the average north korean makes no attempt to take an honest approach to the comprehensive understanding of the program. indeed, based on the pyongyang declaration, the prime minister has repeatedly emphasized that without the resolution of the abduction issues there can be no normalization of diplomatic relations between japan and inappropriated
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action will result in the paying of heavy price. the risk the resolution of the outstanding issues. north korea cannot look ahead to a bright future. meanwhile regrettably, north korea continued to take action which contradicted the pyongyang declaration. and set of responding to the issues of concern. specific, in the japan summit meeting, north korea admitted to the abduction of japanese people and apologized. according to the decision of kim jong-il, the chairman of the national defense commission of -- five survivors
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and their families returned home. the victims were said to have died. but north koreans therefore north korea's response to japan has been sorely lacking in good faith. meanwhile the japanese side has long continued to strongly demand that north korea secure the safety and immediately return all abductees and investigate to rebuild the truce of the abductions and expedite those responsible for carrying out abductions to japanese authorities. as a result, in may 2014, at the government korea,
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consultation in stockholm, both sides reached an agreement according to that agreement, north korea has established a special investigative committee to conduct comprehensive investigations on all japanese nationals, including abductees. to use part of its measure against north korea. based on those principles in the agreement, japan stated that provide an appropriate time to provide humanitarian assistance to north korea from the humanitarian
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viewpoint. north korea has to take specific action towards the resolution of the objection issue. it is regrettable however, that we have not seen any progress towards the return of our duck since north korea started this investigation nearly two years ago. therefore, we decided to take better measures against north korea to add a comprehensible resolution of outstanding issues, namely the abduction and missile issues. responding to our decision, north korea unilaterally insisted that this is the
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declaration of its own scrapping andhe stockholm agreement the continued investigation into all of the japanese would be stopped. and the investigation committee deserves it. we protested against north korea's claim, as we were unable to accept it at all. north korea must conduct comprehensive and full scale investigations based on the commitment made by north korea itself in stockholm. abductees toow old return home as soon as possible. japan is aent of concerned party. as a concerned party, we have greatly encouraged by encouraging momentum gian by the international community towards
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the improvement of north korea's humanitarian rights situation. i will not go into details, but include, number one, the release of the report of the commission of inquiry and human rights of the democratic people's. two, the un security council subsequent to the abduction concerning the north korean human rights situation is the ui general assembly. number three, the report of the pursuing accountabilities of north korea for crimes against humanity proposed by the you
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un. the resolution directs that human rightse u.n. called upon them to establish a group of independent expats on accountability. they need to move forward. the three leaders confirmed that they needed to move forward with cooperation in the security field between japan and the united states and the republic of korea. in order to deal with the threat and japan korea obtained understanding. the of theor in
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action issue. explainedster abe that japan intends to continue cooperation in reaching a resolution to north korea's human rights and humanitarian problems, including the abduction issues. an encouraging comment was made, noting that similar programs exist in the republic of korea and they would like to cooperate on this issue. in the united states, the north korean sanctions act of 2016 was in this act, while the theirement for suspending sanctions is that the government of north korea has made progress towards accounting and repatriating the citizens of the countries of north korea.
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also, on eof the requirements for termination of that sanction is that the government of north korea has made significant progress towards fully and repatriating united states students of ducted by the government of north korea. development and concurrent resolution over the disappearance. they have been submitted to both houses of congress. we are keeping a close watch on the discussions in congress. the international community is aiming to improve the north korean human rights situation.
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we continue to address the oppression. on north korea has defeated a series of action, since the nuclear testing in january. they have not listened to the voice of the international community. acceptnecessary to pressure on north korea and to have north korea clearly recognize that propagated action is deserved in paying a heavy price. there is no point in conducting this if they do not resolve the abduction issues. otherwise, the objection issue cannot be resolved. he also states it will be
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impossible for north korea to envision their future without the revolution of the abduction issue. but what does the comment implied? the abduction issue is a serious of concern between japan and north korea. it is as important as the nuclear and missile issues. and as i explained about the pyongyang issue, the resolution is as important as the nuclear issue for japan. there can be no normalization. the japanese government will not provide humanitarian assistance or relieve sanctions without north korea's concrete action towards this resolution. this includes the abduction issue. in other words, north korea
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thes to realize that unless result in these issues, it will be impossible for north korea to envision their future. on the other hand, if north on otherls to work issues, in accordance with the pyongyang declaration, japan uild a constructive relationship with north korea in the future. and the public involvement of the international community with north korea will deepen. based on the assumption, japan strives to cooperate with the u.s. and the republic of korea and the united nations.
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that is so than north korea works on resolving the issues. korea, due to its social political system, kim chairman of the north korean commission, has the authority to make final policy decisions. the direction under kim jong-un to gain an accurate understanding of the situation communityernational and to decide to return all of that these as quickly as cteesble -- return all abu as quickly as possible is an outstanding issue of concern. namely the of duction issue and abduction issue and the missile issue.
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the japanese government will continue to cooperate with the international community according to the aforementioned process. at the same time, north korea must make the positive measures. the japanese government will continue to impose strict sanctions on north korea, as well as seek a meaningful dialogue, which can lead to a comprehensive resolution of those issues. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, minister. he was remiss in not adding at the beginning that this trilateral presentation by the three senior officials was actually proposed by the minister .actually proposed by --
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was actually proposed by the minister. so, we are actually grateful for that. we'll hear next from ambassador lee. mbassador lee received his bachelors from tufts and masters. he has studied at the center for korean studies and the center for american studies. in 2013, he has taken on the republic for korea's ambassador for human rights. please look him the stage, ambassador lee. [applause] ambassador lee: thank you for the introduction. distinguished guests, participants, honorable numbers of the media, civic society government and academia, i am
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greatly honored to have this opportunity to say a few remarks to address the continuing problem of human rights violations taking place under kimtyranny of the king joh jong-un regime. theparticularly grateful to minister for putting together this very meaningful gathering. the issue of north korean human rights provides a common for the united states, japan, and the republic of korea to work together in a significant way. and today's event is an thertunity to strengthen trilateral stance and i think the csis for its vision and effort. it has been two years since the
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u.n.'s commission of inquiry produced the report concluding that the totalitarian state's systematic and widespread cruelties against its people are tantamount to crimes against humanity. identified forced labor, infanticide, public aecutions, overseas bductions, among other barbarities. to our dismay, such violations continue today. the report has not been followed up with the kind of urgency and conviction needed to make a difference. having said that, the good news is that the international community is now not only taking the issue much more seriously, but is also warming to the idea of embracing human rights as an
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effective tool, not of destruction in reducing north korea's security threat and eventually, increasing the chances of korean unification. council u.n.'s security responded to the north's forced nuclear test and missile launch also addressed, even though in way, north korea's failure to respond to the "grave hardship that the people are subjected to" is a step in the right direction. wille handle a situation surely test the relevance of the free world's delicate web of liberal human rights treaties, institutions, and regimes. , can the world finally draw a line and combat atrocities in north korea? i believe there are reasons to
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be optimistic. for one thing, the international community's intolerance is increasingly growing thin. during its 2015 session, the u.n.'s general assembly once again overwhelmingly voted to support the conclusions and encouraged the unsc to consider referral and targeted sanctions. this is important because we now know that merely placing north korean human rights on the global stage and particularly the possibility of criminal prosecution of its leader, rattles the pyongyang's complacency. it is very important to understand that promoting human rights, reducing the security threat, and improving inter-ko
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rean relations are mutually reinforcing goals. an internationalof criminal prosecution of kim jong-un, for example, will provide a new leverage encountering the nuclear ambitions, not to mention its human rights violations. threatening prosecution is one establishingtually jurisdiction is another. statute does limit an immediate jurisdiction and to begin with, chinese and russian vetoe present the biggest problem, but of the two china and russia went along with the referrals of door for in 2015 and libya in 2011 -- inh the referrals of darfor
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in 2011 provide some hope that perhaps the same could be done for north korea. twin challenges only one hand and the domestic pressure to become a genuine global leader or a soft power on the other, just me turn the tide in china's chance at the security counsel. keya really does hold the that could move the needle in north korea. of just complaining about what china is not doing, i think we should all be trying harder to find ways to compel china to do otherwise. meanwhile, it should be noted that member states and of course, prosecutors can on thei labortarget north korea's abuses taking place within the member's orders. laborrth extraterritorial
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network is estimated to employ 50,000 to 100,000 workers in as many as 40 countries, including nigeria and mongolia. icc prosecutor can, with approval of the court, initiate an investigation. if the security council refuses to act and the icc does not otherwise gain jurisdiction, the general assembly could also consider setting up a special tribunal. uniting for peace resolution where the assembly can recommend collective actions members once they feel a threat to international peace. north korea's human rights situation does indeed present a threat to international peace. but even if for now, we are not able to make a referral, or to
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establish the tribunal, there are other ways to lay the groundwork for serious enforcement. individual states can employ universal jurisdiction and try north korean officials for crimes against immunity. there has been some pushback's against universal jurisdiction with belgium, spain, and i believe britain also, revising their laws. but contrary to this trend, africa's first universal jurisdiction case began last year with senegal prosecuting the former chadwian dictator on crimes against immunity and war crimes. leadingcting a tribunal to an arrest of the north korean officials is unimaginable at this juncture. but the motion and the attention
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it would draw would deter north korean officials from committing the most up aren't abhorrant crimes. targeted sanctions with a focus on leaders are most useful as well. the u.n.'s sanctions is autions on march 2 welcome development in that sense. ending the human rights abuses in north korea will require a reminiscent of the anti-apartheid movement. in fact, global anti-apa rtheid movement we witnessed in the 1980's is something we could be benchmarking. with north korea in retrospect,
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we may have done just the opposite. sports, cultural, and business exchanges have been in fact, been encouraged instead of being boycotted. in doing so, we sent the wrong message. hopefully, stronger responses eu, and a.n., network of global human rights communities on top of the recently passed north korea human rights act in south korea will change that. in doing so, we should make a effort also to form alliances among international organizations that deal with the gender oppression, religious persecution, and drug trafficking. all hallmarks of north korea. the debate over how terrible
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things are in north korea is over. it is now time for enforcement and accountability. since the end of world war ii, the global community has meticulously built up the international judicial system to counter human rights violations of all scales. it falls on all of us to defend it. states,cular, united japan and the republic of korea should be at the forefront of this defense. this trilateral stance canno tbe emphasized enough. that is why today's conference is very important. as liberal democracies defending universal values, such as human rights, resonates with our identity, north korea is a litmus test not only of our fortitude and commitment to
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protect human dignity, but also of who we are and what we stand for. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, ambassador li. especially for your very powerful conclusion on the importance of this kind of coordinated effort. finally, we are going to turn to our friend, ambassador robert king, to offer some summary comments. ambassador king is the special envoy for the north korean human rights. he was appointed to the position and nominated and then confirmed by the senate in 2009. he served before that for a quarter of a century on the hill. most of that for one of the lines of human rights in the u.s. house of representatives, and bob served as his chief of staff and the chief of his staff
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for the house international relations committee. bob, thanks for joining us. we appreciate your comments. [applause] thanks there is much for the opportunity to participate in this discussion today. e of the things i want to make very clear from the outset is that the united states stands very much with japan in its effort to resolve the issue of the abductees. we support the japanese government and have stopped to help them and work with them as they have salt the resolution to this issue. i have met on a number of occasions with the members of the families of abductees in tokyo, geneva, and new york can we continue to push for a resolution of that issue. the issue of the abductees, which has been primarily seen as a japanese issue, is part of the
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much broader issue of north korea's human rights record and we had a good discussion this morning about the issues of the north korean human rights, the commission of inquiry, the effort that has gone into the publicizing and emphasizing the north korean record in this regard. the japanese government has played a very important role in this process. as co-author with the european union of resolutions in geneva at the human rights council in new york with the general assembly to call attention to the north korean efforts. we appreciate the role that japan has played in this regard. the point that ambassador li made about the value and importance of trilateral cooperation between the united states and japan is another point that i would like to emphasize because the three of
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us, these three countries, of all of the countries that are most involved in dealing with the problems and the provocations and the difficulties that north korea has created, share the same values and the same ideals in terms of our commitment to rule of law, and to the value and importance of human rights. and as the three of us have worked together and cooperated closely in terms of dealing with these issues, i think we have strengthened the effort that we have made in terms of pushing forward on these extremely important issues. committed states is to continuing to work with japan, with south korea, in dealing with the issues and efforts in north korea and in continuing our effort to push forward on human rights. you have a lot of questions. there are questions of members from the panel. i will not take more of your
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time, but let me say that we are committed to continuing the effort and the struggle that we have made and that we have continued now on this human rights issue. and it is an extremely important when we are continuing to press on. thank you very much. [applause] you, bob. i want to ask a few questions of the panelists. perhaps they can open with the minister. you gave a very clear and very principaled declaration of the japanese government's position on diplomacy with north korea. i'm wondering what role there is for diplomacy now. clearly the north korean side has done nothing but provocations and has been dishonest and far from
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forthcoming with respect to the fate and disposition of those abducted. is diplomacy with north korea on hold? is there a point at which direct negotiations make sense? i understand why the diplomacy is not moving now, but what are the circumstances -- what would the strategy be for diplomatic efforts with north korea in the future. what would the environment have to look like for that to be possible? >> at that time i guess it will be in japanese.


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